A full-time nurse practitioner has been hired by Health PEI for the provincial diabetes program. 

A total of $160,000 will be spent to pay for the position and services that will include expanded coverage of diabetes test strips and increased services for pregnant women.  

There are more than 14,000 Islanders living with diabetes, says Martha St. Pierre, who is with the provincial diabetes program.

On average, 860 Islanders are diagnosed with diabetes each year. 

"We know diabetes is a chronic disease requiring assistance for individuals who are living with diabetes to manage their diabetes over time," said St. Pierre. 

"As such, those who don't have a family physician or a nurse practitioner often struggle to manage their diabetes and ideally, walk-in clinics and emergency departments are not appropriate settings for them to access those services." 

Health PEI will also be offering free diabetes screening and risk assessment clinics throughout November across the province.